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Brief reviews of current shows

September Shoes. The play tells the story of a couple, Gail and Alberto, who are returning to the desert town of Dolores, where they grew up, to attend the funeral of Gail's aunt. This aunt, proprietor of a Chinese-Mexican restaurant, brought Gail up, but Gail's feelings toward her are ambivalent. Alberto, too, has his problems. His younger sister, Ana, was killed in a traffic accident when they were in their teens. In Dolores, the couple encounters two people. There's the cemetery groundsman, Huilo, who tends the graves and carves a list of all the town's dead on what looks like a tall, red pillar but is in fact one leg of an enormous chair Huilo has built so that when God returns to Earth, he'll have somewhere to rest. There's also Cuki, the maid at the hotel where Gail and Alberto are staying. She steals shoes, takes them home and nails them to her wall. She believes she can read character and destiny in their worn contours. But the playwright simply doesn't have the love of language or the skill to evoke the feelings he wants to evoke. The script is full of clunkers. For the most part, the characters are ciphers, and the plot is paper-thin. Presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company through December 17, Ricketson Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-893-4100, www.denvercenter.org. Reviewed November 3.

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